Dear Pastor
March 3, 2006
I can’t get along with them

Dear Pastor Jackson,

I am in a situation that really is getting to me and really need your advice. Pastor, I am worried that a relationship that I have been working on for the last couple of years may be on the rocks and it might be all my fault. {{more}}

Pastor, I have been with my boyfriend now a couple of years and we have been going real well and I even thought he was about to ask me to marry him but now I don’t know.

Pastor, the thing is that I can’t get along too well with his family and that is causing a real problem. Pastor, it is not that I don’t like them, it is just that their way of operation really gets to me. Some of them have no ambition and just live life don’t care. The men in the family have no ambition and the women are worse.

I can’t imagine having children and having them grow up around that family because I didn’t grow up that way. It is not about money or anything like that but more about values and the way we view life. I believe when I have children that I will not be comfortable having them be around my boyfriend’s family. Every time we talk he keeps saying that I feel that my family is more than his and that I really don’t love him because I can’t accept his family.

The thing is he is totally different from most of them and I was shocked when I met them because they were nothing like him,but now he is reconsidering our relationship. Pastor, I don’t want to lose him but I can’t help but be honest about how I am feeling. What should I do? How can I fix this?

Afraid to lose him!

Hi my afraid friend,

You have highlighted something that many people have ignored for years. In fact I believe that if you and your boyfriend are able to work this out and continue your relationship in marriage, you will be well on your way to a successful marriage. There is this crazy concept “I am marrying him (or her) not his (or her) family.” bad mistake! Because when you enter a relationship and later marriage you quickly find out that you are not just married to this person but every thing and person important to him. So his family and friends become a part of this life that you are building. They share your precious moments like birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. They become god-parents nominees for your children and all of a sudden you realize that your feelings towards these individuals affect your relationship. So first thing you must know is that you are not in a bad place, a touchy place, yes, but not bad.

When two people grow up in different backgrounds, the merging of these backgrounds can cause teething problems and this is what you are going through.

What you need to be careful about is not so much your honesty but rather the “spirit’ of your honesty. It is good to speak the truth but it must be spoken in love because if it isn’t, the hurt overshadows the truth of the comment oftentimes.

You might be right about your assessments of some of your potential in-laws’ attitudes and approach to life but the way you communicate this concern to your boyfriend may have left a hurtful scar that you have to try your very best to correct.

You will also do well to note that even though your family may seem to be so much more purposeful and all that in your mind, someone else doing an evaluation may find some very undesirable attitudes and behaviors. So, my dear, you and your boyfriend need to go back to the drawing board and honestly work through this bump in the road of your relationship. Respect the background and heritage of each other but be open enough to receive the criticism. find ways to adjust.

Can I close by telling you, if you guys really love each other you will find a way to work this out?

Pastor Jackson